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Projects worth Rs 308 crore unveiled to boost water transport, tourism in the Northeast

Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated a passenger-cum-cargo terminal at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh, Inland Water Transport Terminal at Sonamura in Tripura and upgraded terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur in Assam.
Last Updated 20 February 2024, 16:52 IST

Guwahati: The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday unveiled projects worth Rs 308 crore to boost water transport and tourism in the Northeastern region.

The event was simultaneously held at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, Badarpur in Karimganj, IWAI port in Dhubri in Assam and at Sonamura in Tripura.

Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated a passenger-cum-cargo terminal at Bogibeel near Dibrugarh, Inland Water Transport Terminal at Sonamura in Tripura and upgraded terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur in Assam.

"This terminal will play a pivotal role in rejuvenating IWT in the region for both cargo and passenger movement, paving the way for growth of trade and commerce," said Sonowal.

The Minister also laid foundation stones for construction of a custom immigration office in Dhubri, sharing border with Bangladesh, as well as for the construction of the compound wall for IWAI at Jogighopa terminal in Assam.

The newly inaugurated Bogibeel terminal is being built with an investment of nearly Rs 50 crore.

"It will also lead to increase in eco-tourism as well as improve the economies of scale for existing major trade like tea, polymer, coal, fertiliser among others," he said.

An integrated office for Immigration, Customs and IWAI at Bogibeel is also being constructed at a cost of Rs 18 crore. A project for bank protection and Extension of jetty at Bogibeel Terminal at a cost of Rs 12 crore would also be initiated immediately.

The IWT terminal at Sonamura is developed with an investment of Rs 6.91 crore. The upgraded terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur were completed with an investment of Rs 6.40 crore.

"The IWT Terminal at Sonamura has the potential to attract trans-boundary trade including commodities like bagged cement, horticulture, consumer products and other local goods transported via road between India and Bangladesh. This jetty is also being developed as a multi-purpose jetty to support movement of passengers on ferries between the two countries. The renovated and upgraded terminals at Karimganj and Badarpur will further ease and increase the export activities and commodities.

The projects have major influence in districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi in Assam and adjoining states of Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya due to the presence of cement industry, stone crushers, coal deposits, food processing units, tea estates, said a statement issued by Sonowal's ministry.

Sonowal said, "The terminals at Bogibeel will act as a catalyst of economic development for the region, further amplifying trade opportunities for upper Assam as well as Arunachal Pradesh.

The Sonamura terminal in Tripura will further trans-boundary trade between India and Bangladesh. The Karimganj and Badarpur terminals will also power trade opportunities. All these projects will go a long way towards realising the vision of Narendra Modi ji towards the North east acting as the powerhouse of India’s growth towards becoming Viksit Bharat.”

Two electric catamarans at Guwahati will be deployed in Guwahati by August this year, Sonowal said.

The electric catamarans, developed by Cochin Shipyard Limited at a cost of Rs 36 crore, will enhance communication facilities for the people of Guwahati.

At least 19 passenger vessels for National Waterways-2 (Brahmaputra) and NW-16 (Barak) would be provided and two Pontoon Terminals on NW-2 would be constructed at a cost of Rs 25 crore, said Sonowal.

He said that the Dredging Corporation of India will commence dredging operations in the North East region to power waterways in the Northeast.

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(Published 20 February 2024, 16:52 IST)

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